Car parts tycoon plans Piccadilly hotel

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A COMPANY backed by Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, the entrepreneur who sold Euro Car Parts for £225m two years ago, is planning a 340-bed four star hotel at the derelict Employment Exchange in Manchester.

He is still with Euro Car Parts, which was bought by the Chicago-based LKQ Corporation, but has channelled some of his wealth into property interests through a Reading-based company called Dominvs Living.

According to Dominvs it has bought the Employment Exchange on Aytoun Street, pictured below, which has been on the market since 2010 following the collapse of Liverpool-based Albany Estates. It wanted to build a 44-storey tower with a mix of apartments and hotel rooms.

Dominvs plans to clear the site and put up a new building but a planning application has not yet been submitted. TheBusinessDesk.com understands the project will be its first development.

The company has already built up a portfolio of residential, commercial and industrial property assets, mainly around London, and it moved into hospitality in April with the acquisition of the Hotelier Group which operates hotels in Sheffield, Darlington and Dumfries under the Aston brand.

In a statement it said: “As part of a planned expansion of strategically locatedFormer employment exchange, Aytoun St, Manchester branded hotels in key UK cities, Dominvs Living have acquired a landmark site in Manchester City Centre for the development of a 340 Bedroom 4-Star hotel, restaurant and conference facilities.”

It added: “This is an important and significant development and the hotel will become a vital element of the fast growing international attraction for Manchester and its increasing stature as a major European city.”

Mr Ahluwalia’s family fled Idi Amin’s Uganda for the UK when he was 13. He built up Euro Car Parts from a small London parts shop he bought in 1978 for £5,000.

The hotel will sit behind Malmaison and next to the Doubletree by Hilton at Piccadilly Place. Construction is also due to start on a 330-bed Motel One on London Road and Yo Sushi! entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe last month submitted plans for a 258-bed hotel under the Yotel brand at 12-16 Piccadilly.

Two years ago a report by Albany’s administrator Deloitte said a deal with an unnamed developer for the Employment Exchange had been agreed. Contracts were exchanged but the sale was subject to planning permission and nothing happened. The latest report, filed in April, said the buyer was in breach of the terms of the deal so the administrators were talking to “alternate parties” as well as the original bidder. Last September there was speculation that Intercontinental Hotels Group planned to open at Holiday Inn at the site.

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